This photo illustration depicts coronavirus, which is so called because the virus, when viewed under a microscope, is shaped like a crown. Photo illustration by Mohamed Hassen, Pixabay.

Coronavirus Disrupts Lives of Students

Schools all over the United States have closed in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. College campuses across Maryland, and many campuses across the nation, are closed for the rest of the semester. Public schools are closed in Maryland through April 24, which could be extended. This could cancel important events including graduations, proms, sports, and more.

Piper Jons is a senior at Urbana High School. She is committed to run track at Elon University.

Her senior year was affected greatly. She will not have a prom, a graduation, or a chance to take exams like the SAT, ACT, and AP tests. Piper will also miss her final track season at Urbana High School. Jons explained “it was very heartbreaking to see all the track girls’ hard work go down the drain. Knowing thousands of athletes are facing the same situation is upsetting. We are all praying that our college season will not be affected next year.”

Leah Martone is a senior at the University of Florida. She has worked towards her degree for nearly four years and is finally ready to graduate. This spring she had to move out of her sorority house, and was robbed of her college graduation and her final months at Delta Zeta sorority.

Olivia Jones, also a student at the University of Florida, lost the remainder of her first year of college, and her first year as a Delta Zeta. Leah and Olivia are roommates, both having to leave their sorority house last week.

“My freshman year was robbed from me, making it not quite ideal. I do think that we should be staying inside, but now doing online classes and paying out of state tuition is really hard for me to fathom,” said Olivia.

I attend Frederick Community College. I am worried the closure this spring will affect my ability to transfer in the fall. I also have been dealing with student loans, which is now difficult because FCC’s on campus offices are closed, which makes it not as easy to consult with the campus Financial Aid Office.

Many students and adults are also dealing with unemployment. Most public places are closing or limiting hours, affecting work schedules. This causes frustration for adults with concerns about how to pay student loans, bills, food, and more.

My neighbor Susan Decker got teary-eyed when she said, “I am not working. My job is closed. How will I buy food, pay bills, or relax during a stressful time like this? I have just applied for unemployment.”

Most schools around the country have shut down. Many schools have gone far enough to close school for the rest of the semester and students are wondering if the campuses will reopen in fall. Most colleges have moved their schooling to online now so this pandemic does not affect their placement once school starts back up.

Background

Coronavirus started in late 2019, when the first human was infected in Wuhan, China. On Dec. 31, Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organization of an outbreak of a strain of Coronavirus. This is a respiratory condition where symptoms can range from feeling like the common cold, to severe respiratory diseases like pneumonia.

By now, almost every country has been infected with the virus. The two countries with the most infections are China and Italy, but the United States is in the top 10. Worldwide there are nearly 500,000 cases confirmed, with over 100,000 cases recovered, and over 20,000 deaths. The numbers are expected to keep growing, and the U.S. is trying to slow the curve.

Many countries have even closed down due to the virus. Specifically in the U.S. President Trump has released national guidelines to control the virus, including closing schools and campuses, avoiding groups of more than 10 people, and limiting travel to restaurants, bars, and food courts. Trump has called for this closure to extend through the month of April, but the date when it ends is still not clear.

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